Professor Pat O’Connor, University College Dublin.
Professor O’Connor will talk about the way gender inequality is maintained in universities by focusing on various levels including the individual, interactional, organisational and systemic. Focusing particularly on the under-representation of women in the professoriate, it will challenge the view that the problem is women. It will suggest that change is possible and that excellence is not an unproblematic gender neutral phenomenon. Drawing on a wide range of evidence it will identify the various processes and procedures through which gender inequality is maintained. It will suggest that although attempts to tackle it are enhanced by systemic pressures, at an organisational level, leadership is crucial. Finally it will raise the question of what constitutes success in gender equality terms.